Hey everyone, need some assistance with a coop dilemma.
So the amount of chickens that we have coming our way is a tad daunting: 18 is the final count. My original plan was to build two chicken tractors out of PVC or CPVC with a sturdy wooden base and having 9 in each one. With the square footage recommendations on this site, that would make it around a 12x5, give or take. After speaking it over with my wife, she wants only one tractor. This, however, would come out to be something like 20 feet by 10 feet, way too big for what I'm looking for. If that's the case, I'll just build a coop and fence in a huge run for them. The amount of land I'm working with becomes a problem though. With what amounts to approximately one acre of developed land, it's going to be difficult to have that much space dedicated to chickens as well as the other things we want later on down the road (goats, big vegetable garden, flower garden, a garage, additions). Until I address the other forested acre, I'm kind of stuck.
So my question is this. Would it be better to have two tractors or one non-moveable coop and forego that extra land at the moment. She says that I wouldn't really need to have a specific run, just make a fence surrounding the property. Yet, how would you deal with predators, or the chickens not coming when called, or them laying eggs everywhere but the hen house? My desire for a tractor centers on the fact that I can rotate where the chickens eat, thus making it easier to eliminate them tearing up more grass than I want.